Wagner J, Rajan TV, Kuoch T, Scully M.
Published in Journal of Immigrant Minority Health December 2013.
Few studies have explored interrelationships among mental health and health status in refugees using objective, clinical data. Pulse pressure (PP) has recently emerged as an easily obtained, strong, independent determinant of mortality. We conducted a chart review of electronic records for 24 consecutive months to investigate PP among Cambodian refugees receiving services at a community clinic in Connecticut, USA. 301 patients charts were retrieved, 41 contained complete data for all variables. We found high rates of cardiovascular, anthropometric, and mental health problems. Among women, higher weight was related to higher PP. Among men, higher mental health symptom scores were marginally related to higher PP. Findings held after controlling for age.
Adiposity and mental health symptoms, which are known to be related to trauma history, contribute to elevated PP in this resettled refugee population. Given that PP may be modifiable through lifestyle intervention, further investigation of these problems in this needy population is warranted.